Sappho 31. Sappho, Fragment 31, trans Gillian Spraggs 2022-10-27
Sappho 31, also known as "Fragment 31" or "The Invitation," is a poem written by the ancient Greek poet Sappho in the 7th century BCE. It is one of Sappho's most famous and well-regarded works, and is often studied and analyzed by scholars and students of literature.
The poem is a lyric in the form of an invitation, in which Sappho addresses a woman named Atthis and invites her to come and join her in a revel or party. The poem is characterized by its intense emotion and sensual language, as Sappho speaks with great longing and desire for Atthis.
One of the most striking aspects of Sappho 31 is its use of imagery and metaphor. Sappho compares Atthis to a goddess and describes her as "a golden throne" and "a bright star," suggesting that Atthis is a being of great beauty and radiance. She also uses vivid and evocative language to describe the pleasures and delights that she and Atthis will experience together, such as "beautiful flowers" and "fragrant garlands."
Another notable feature of Sappho 31 is its focus on emotion and desire. Sappho speaks with great passion and longing for Atthis, and her words convey a sense of urgency and desire to be with her. This emotion is further heightened by the use of imperatives and exclamations, such as "come now" and "let us go."
Overall, Sappho 31 is a powerful and moving poem that captures the intense emotions and desires of Sappho for Atthis. Its vivid imagery and sensual language make it a timeless classic that continues to be admired and studied by readers and scholars today.
Sappho Fragment 31 (contributed by Mariangela Labate)
The final line of this stanza refuses to let us rest there. Dissociation Dissociation is the feeling of being removed from one's self, or the sense that one's essence, soul, or mind is separate from the body. Sappho, by turning her gaze on herself in both instances, recasts a preoccupation demonstrated elsewhere in her work, namely the gazing at others. Initially, the corpus of her works, according to antique sources, consisted of seven books, most of which in their form related to monodic solo lyric poetry written in complex poetic measures, the unit of which was not a line but a stanza. The Fragments of Mimnermus: Text and Commentary. There are trembling feelings, passion, and longing for the loved one.
Sappho Fragment 31 Lines 13
Sadly, the last three lines of the poem are lost to us. Regardless of her sexuality and how accepted it was, Sappho would have been expected to marry a man which she did and bear children which she also did. It was probably featured during the wedding of one of the girls of the thiasos. But this threat of fatality may well be, I suggest, as much the result of geras as it is eros—thus the tripartite theme of eros— geras-death may be regarded as featuring in fragment 31 also, thereby establishing further connections between the two Sapphic pieces in question. More so than Sappho, his stated fear is that he will live into old age, and the desires of the body will still remain, sentiments of lines 2—4 that alter the opening line with depressing irony. In reply I would suggest that as Mimnermus comes at an earlier stage in the history of Greek oral lyric his material—in all its glorious oral variations—was in the likely position of pre-eminence in regards to sources for allusion. It appears, however, in both pieces by Sappho as expressing personal and physical trauma.
Sappho Fragment 31 Summary
In the last stanza, the first person is entirely absent, having disappeared beneath an onslaught of fractured senses. With this intensity of emotion, she declares herself to feel almost dead. While much has been reconstructed from her poetry, it is a shame that such an important literary contribution was partially lost at the hands of the church. Lexical repetition allows the lyrical hero to express his subjective and expressive attitude to what is happening. Lattimore 1944, Elder 1951, Kidd 1963, Commager 1965, Fredricksmeyer 1965, Woodman 1966, Wills 1967, Frank 1968, Lejnieks 1968, Segal 1970, Kinsey 1974, Shipton 1980, Adler 1981, Baker 1981, Itzkowitz 1983, Knox 1984, Finamore 1984, Vine 1992; contra, cf. Iambi et elegi Graeci ante Alexandrum cantati ed. Reading Sappho: Contemporary Approaches.
While the use of the self-gaze as descriptive signifier appears in Mimnermus fragment 5, it is not there in fragment 2. Like Eos, Sappho is in the grip of erotic madness and her body acts involuntarily, with each symptom drawing her closer to a dramatic fatality. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that Catullus was practising imitatio and his rendition is demonstrably his own, particularly with i the inclusion of his own name and that of Lesbia and ii the otium stanza. The results of this comparative study will hopefully shed some light on poem 58 in relation to an established fragment, fragment 31, as well as extend discussion of the latter piece—not only in terms of the themes of age and aging per se—but also in terms of the possibilities of the influence of Mimnermus, whose voice I suggest is not only audible in fragment 31 but in poem 58 as well. An important observation here is that especially vivid and important feelings for the author are brought out separately in each stanza Wisner 2021.
Sappho Fragment 31 Themes
The same poetic devices of hyperbole, vivid imagery and the theme of transformation are employed in fragment 31. To better identify the Sapphic self-gaze, I acknowledge the definition by Bret L. By drawing attention to this difference, we learn that the speaker elevates the man to the stature of a god because of the gulf between herself and him, between her estrangement from and his closeness to the beloved. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. The final stanza of Fragment 31 was likely the same length as the preceding four, but most of it has been lost. The point is that this technique contributes to the perception of the text as a whole, something that should be read in the same breath and felt as one Wisner 2021.
A Reading of Sappho Poem 58, Fragment 31 and Mimnermus
Poetic Craft in the Early Greek Elegists. Studies in Greek Elegy and Iambus. This is also one of the few poetic elements, unlike stanza structure and diction, that is a constant throughout translations of this poem. In the Golodoran states, women had more opportunities and rights than in Athens, which was the main reason for this phenomenon. Not only that, but she is engaged with them on a physical, even sensual level that echoes the subject matter of the poem and suggests that the dissociative experience that these stanzas describe is not prohibitive of sensuality, but enmeshed with it. Her crisis, however, may be more complex than straightforward desire.
Sappho Fragment 31 Lines 1
Likewise, Mimnermus looks ahead to old age and reminds himself that it is inevitably close. These themes, eros and death, also feature in fragment 31. That new pace creates aesthetic contrast with the beginning of the stanza, while again echoing the image it describes, this time of racing fire. She deifies those people who, being near her lover, can behave calmly. Sappho chooses hyperbole to convey emotional as well as physical states. Ecstasy is a useful word for describing the overwrought, exaggerated love that the speaker experiences in this poem; it leaves room for joy while also conveying the complexity of intense emotion as a possibly transcendent experience.
Yet the theme of geras may well be present in the fragment also—an external force equally as powerful as the object of desire. In other words, the vestiges of gendered commonwealths remained relevant to society. Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies. Admittedly, in comparison to Sappho, Mimnermus is more overt in his lamentation of geras and its repercussions vis-à-vis philotes fr. In the end, it turns out that language and love correlate as follows. It may well be the yearning of one who is old gazing at one who is young.
Sappho Fragment 31 Poem Text
Oxford: Oxford University Press. The admiration in love is expressed in simple participle clauses indicating the deification of a loved one. I look at you. There are several significant Homeric echoes in fragment 31; cf. The fragment thus ends on a cliffhanger, with the speaker seeming to turn away from the ecstatic despair of the last stanza and expressing instead a commitment to risk embarking upon the world. GradeSaver, 30 March 2019 Web. Then there is the mind-boggling flow of emotions and feelings associated with being close to the person she loves.